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The Force is with him: Why Abrams is the right choice to take over Episode IX

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Sep 12, 2017

The director who launched the new cinematic era of Star Wars with The Force Awakens is now set to return as writer and director of the third and final film in the sequel trilogy. It was, you might say, his destiny. And we think J.J. Abrams is just the right person for the job.

It's no secret that there has been a disturbance in the Force recently, with the directorial shake-up of the untitled Han Solo film that ultimately landed Ron Howard in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon and then, last week, news that Colin Trevorrow and Lucasfilm had parted ways over differing visions for Star Wars Episode IX.

As soon as Trevorrow was out, the internet rumor mill erupted with speculation over who would take the helm. Both Rian Johnson, director of the forthcoming The Last Jedi, and Abrams were floated as potential replacements. But here's why we're ecstatic about Lucasfilm's decision to bring Abrams back to finish what he started ...

When The Force Awakens debuted in 2015 it was a homecoming for saga fans, many of whom had skipped out on the animated series (considering them as just for kids) and perhaps been less-than-pleased with the prequel trilogy.

There was a lot on the line, but Abrams managed to deliver a thrilling new story that still felt like it was part of the fabric of the Star Wars universe. Sure, there was a sect of fans that griped that The Force Awakens played it far too safe, staying too close to the formula used in A New Hope.

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And yes, there was a sandy planet and an orphaned child, a villain in black with a red lightsaber, and a legion of white-armored stormtroopers in the mix. But as the direct sequel to Return of the Jedi, the film had to satisfy fans who had waited 30 years for the next chapter, entice a whole new generation to fall in love with the galactic adventures of Rey, Finn, and Poe, and logically tie the two eras together in a way that didn't feel forced or superficial. That's no small feat.

Among the challenges of wrapping up the ninth Star Wars saga film, Abrams will have to grapple with telling the story without Carrie Fisher on hand portraying General Leia Organa.

Star Wars fans are, as a people, extremely invested in the franchise. They want someone they can trust. And Abrams, the man who singlehandedly resuscitated the adventures of Captain James T. Kirk and the starship Enterprise then both lost and found Luke Skywalker? He's the person you want guiding the final Star Wars saga film.